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Metropolitan Railway Full Third 394 (built by Ashbury, 1900)

Met Third 394
Lewis Nodes

The coach is seen on its test run, 25 January 1999, after eight years of restoration work.
Type: Full 3rd
Built: (Ashbury) 1900, Rebuilt: 1921, Un-rebuilt: 1992-7
Seating: 70 3rd
Length: 39' 6"
Weight: 20 Tons
Original No: 394
Other Nos: 6702, 518
Withdrawn: 1960
Preserved: 1961
To Bluebell: 2/3/1961

Built initially for steam-haulage, this coach was converted for electric operation as a driving trailer in 1921, at which time the end compartment was rebuilt to a driver's cab. It was converted for steam haulage on the Metropolitan's Chesham Branch in 1940 as LT No.518, a push-pull driving vehicle. Purchased by the Bluebell in 1961, it was used during the sixties, since when it has been out of use except for filming work.

As part of the BASH project to return the set of four "Chesham" vehicles to working order, it has been stripped, and has received a new roof and two entirely new compartment walls. The driving cab, which was infested with dry-rot, has been stripped out and rebuilt as an ordinary passenger compartment, to return the coach to its pre-1921 condition. Much of the teak required for the reconstruction has been salvaged from various sources.

Following thirty years out of use and 8 years restoration work, the first two of the four Metropolitan coaches returned to public service in February 1999.

A series of web pages are dedicated to details of the history and current restoration of the four Metropolitan coaches.


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